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Zibrant to share £100k profit bonus

Agency marks successful 12 months, culminating in reinvestment from MD Fay Sharpe with 10 per cent stake

Nigel Cooper says Zibrant exceeded expectations in 2015

Members of staff at event agency Zibrant are to share a £100k bonus after what chairman Nigel Cooper described as a ‘better than I could have hoped for’ year.

Cooper purchased the agency for £2.9 million in November 2014 when Zibrant’s parent company Motivcom was acquired by Sodexo, and a year later is in a position to share success with staff based in Kent, Surrey, Derby and Milton Keynes.

Cooper said: “It has been better than we could possibly have hoped for. It has been a more than successful year and I am delighted with it. We set objectives for the year to move forward in a number of different areas, and we have exceeded every single one. In addition to the £100k pay out, there will be some more in April, and I am delighted we are in that position.”

Association business now accounts for around 5 per cent of Zibrant’s turnover, and its expertise has been bolstered by the return of Hannah Wilkinson in the role of the director of business development – healthcare, and former Contendam duo Caroline Mackenzie and Susan Hayden.

Cooper said: “You are only as good as your last event, or as good as your client’s last year. It’s about maintaining the momentum and pace of change and to keep moving on from a service perspective. We are securing new business in the association market, which is about 5 per cent of our business – and when you consider we didn’t even have an association business in 2014 that’s a remarkable achievement in the first year. Our group accommodation service, set up in 2013, will be about 8 per cent of the business in the next year, meaning we have added two new services in the last three years which already contribute around 12-13 per cent.”

Further market diversification is on the agenda in the next year, including a broadening of PCO services and inbound destination management. “It’s making use of the same skills, in different markets with different applications,” Cooper added.

In addition, MD Fay Sharpe, who founded the company in 1988, is to become a shareholder again, taking a 10 per cent stake. She was responsible for Zibrant’s rise before a £15m buyout by Motivcom in 2007.

Cooper said the shareholder model was something he is keen to explore. “Fay has been involved with the business for 25 years and I am delighted to have her on board,” he added. “At some point it’s one of those things we want to do. If we have more people invested in the business the better, and we have to look at how we bring people in. At Motivcom, 300 of the 500 staff were shareholders and is something we are looking at in the future.”

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